PRESS RELEASE - Redefining the Canvas: Edda Renouf, Ramona Sakiestewa and Marie Watt

Eight Modern
07/24/2009

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO Eight Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Redefining the Canvas: Edda Renouf, Ramona Sakiestewa and Marie Watt.

The artists each use media and techniques associated with textiles but present and conceptualize their work in a way that blurs and then redefines the traditional understanding of the ‘canvas.’ For Renouf, Sakiestewa and Watt, the canvas functions as an art object, not just a foundational medium.

Sakiestewa’s work in this exhibition is the culmination of her 35-year career as a weaver. Stating “Change is good,” the artist has announced that the Nebula series of tapestries are the last weavings she will make.She will continue to explore other media and work as a design consultant.

Sakiestewa’s Nebula weavings show her exceptional mastery of the art, including her layering and blending of color. Synthesizing ancient techniques with abstraction, her framed tapestries are based on watercolor sketches, giving them what the artist describes as “a painterly quality.”

Sakiestewa’s work has been exhibited in the Heard Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum. Additionally, Sakiestewa is a member of the New Mexico Women’s Hall of Fame, a former chair of the New Mexico Arts Commission and the Southwestern Association of Indian Affairs and a noted design consultant whose consultations include the National Museum of the American Indian and the Tempe Center for the Performing Arts.

Renouf, who now lives in Paris earned her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her work has been exhibited and collected by prestigious museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the British Museum and the Australian National Gallery.Her work is currently featured in two major exhibitions: Collected Thoughts: Works from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and elles@centrepompidou - artistes femmes dans les collections du Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.

Marie Watt, a descendent of Seneca Indians and Wyoming ranchers, describes herself as “half cowboy and half Indian,” a duality that is reflected by her unique, multidisciplinary art. Considered a post-medium conceptual artist, Watt uses wool blankets for both their aesthetic qualities and their rich personal and cultural associations.She draws from photographs, portraiture and biography, sewing together scraps of blankets to create narrative portraits that invoke histories both individual and universal.

“On a wall, a blanket functions as tapestry, but on a body it functions as a robe and a living art object,” Watt said. “Blankets hang around in our lives; they gain meaning through use. My work is about social and cultural histories imbedded in commonplace objects.”

Watt is based in Portland, Oregon, received her M.F.A. from Yale and also holds degrees from Willamette University and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Her work has been collected by the Smithsonian Institution, the Seattle Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe and Microsoft. In the past five years, she has had solo exhibitions at the Boise Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, the Missoula Museum of Art, the Nicolaysen Museum of Art in Casper, Wyoming, the Wright Museum of Art in Beloit, Wisconsin, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York.